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Fed-Up Circus Bear Mauls Trainer During Show: ‘Everyone Thought It Was A Script’

caitlyn.clancey 24 Oct 2019

There have been great strides made around the world to put an end to the practice of torturing animals into performing for the sake of our own selfish entertainment. There's even an entire circus that uses holograms instead of live animals to prevent mistreatment.

But the world isn't perfect, and there are still people out there who think it's perfectly O.K. to force a wild animal to prance around in front of an audience and call it a "show."

Well, maybe this is the kind of story that can change those people's minds and prove once and for all that (say it with me now, kids), animals are not here to entertain us.

A crowd in Russia was treated to a rather traumatic show after a bear seemingly snapped at its handler during a performance.

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According to LadBible, the brown bear is the star attraction at the Anshlag Tent Circus, where it unwillingly performs in its own show, "Bow-Legged and the Wheelbarrow." Some other translations have dubbed it "Clubfoot and the Wheelbarrow."

As part of this performance, the 600 lb. bear is forced to stroll around center stage on its hind legs, pushing a garden wheelbarrow like a person. It also has a collar secured around its neck with a leash attached to it.

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During a recent show, the bear obeyed its trainers' instructions and pushed the cart around, but then apparently decided it had had enough.

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The animal was captured on video suddenly turning on one of its two trainers, mauling the man and pinning him to the ground.

It's worth noting here that the show takes place inside a ring without any sort of fencing or barrier separating the performers from the audience. So it's no wonder why horrified spectators quickly hurried to flee the area.

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During the attack, the second trainer inside the ring can be seen kicking at the bear in an attempt to get it off the other handler.

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Eventually, the animal was subdued after it was prodded with an electric shock stick. Neither the bear nor the handler were killed during the attack, though the man was reportedly injured.

Police and local safety officials are investigating the incident.

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Some witnesses to the horrifying incident said they first believed the attack was just part of the show.

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"At first, everyone thought it was a script," one audience member said, as reported by LadBible. "But when the assistant starting kicking the bear and pulled out the shocker, the panic started. People got up and ran to the exit."

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Other people expressed anger at the lack of protection inside the circus's big top to separate the audience from the animals.

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Galina Gurieva, the mother-of-one who filmed the attack, said, "I was shocked there was no fence for the safety of spectators, given the size of the bear."

Another person added, "We expected to see cute cubs and they brought in a huge grizzly-terminator. They did not protect children and adults from possible attack."

The full video is included below, but it may be disturbing to some viewers.

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People online have also made their anger known, though they're more upset about the fact the bear was forced to perform at all.

"That trainer got what they deserved," one YouTube user wrote. "It's sickening that they pushed that bear to that extreme level of stress and anger. Forcing it to perform tricks that are unnatural and unnecessary only for our own entertainment."

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The circus has since released a statement about the incident in which they blame the audience for the attack.

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After confirming the wheelbarrow act has been removed from the program, administrator Ludmila Misnik said that it was flashes from cameras in the audience that provoked the bear to maul its handler.

"When you explain to people that you need to turn off the flashes, people stubbornly ignore it, thereby exposing themselves and others to danger."

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Russia has banned petting zoos and also prohibits residents from keeping wild animals in their apartments.

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However, there is no law against using those same wild animals in circuses.

h/t: LadBible

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